March 11, 2010
The group Computers 4 Kids is located just a few doors down from the Newsplex, at the IX Building in Charlottesville. There you'll find a computer lab for kids who don't have internet access at home. Also, you'll find mentors helping those kids enhance their creativity and their ability to imagine.
"To watch these kids fulfill their dreams is just one of the greatest things you can witness," said Computers 4 Kids mentor, Vince Dish.
Sitting side-by-side with some of the area's disadvantaged students, Dish glares into a world of endless possibilities.
"[we have] Dream Weaver to make their own websites, we have Movie Maker to make their own movies, and we use Adobe Photoshop to manipulate image files," said Dish.
Dish has volunteered at Computers 4 Kids more than 100 hours in the past two years, teaching the ins and outs of technology to his students.
"If his student is interested in doing a project that requires Vince to learn a new software program, he does," said Michaela Tighe.
Vince and the entire Computers 4 Kids team strives to stay one step ahead, so students who are less privileged than some of their classmates can stay on an even playing field.
"You don't have to be a computer wiz to be a mentor. We teach each other there's nothing like personal attention from an adult that you know cares for your well being," said Tighe.
Dish says his volunteer work is rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in seeing his mentees grow. Dish and Computers 4 Kids are this week's heroes for showing kids in the community that the keys to creativity are within their reach.